Friday, August 28, 2009

A Lot Of Food Just For Me

I kind of overdid it this week. I'm used to cooking for two for a whole week. This week Husband was out of town, so it was just me...and I basically made enough food for two of me (though definitely not enough for me and Husband). I made it simple with wraps and sandwiches with some more interesting than usual veggies on the side. Here's what I ate this week:
  • I made this whole wheat bread, courtesy of Not Martha, again. I made it a few weeks ago, if you'll recall. It really is my go-to recipe now, I think. So simple, so delicious.
  • I used the bread to make sandwiches that were kind of a shrimp salad. I sauteed some shrimp and added some chives and Greek-style yogurt (in place of mayo). It turned out...just ok. It didn't wow me. The shrimp didn't taste that fresh, unfortunately. I probably wouldn't make this again.
  • Baked falafel, courtesy of Chow Vegan. I bought some whole wheat tortillas and layered them with some mache (my new love), tomato, and avocado. I also spread on some homemade tzatziki (mixed some Greek-style yogurt with chopped cucumber and fresh lemon juice - simple!). This turned out really delicious. The falafels had some trouble staying together, but that didn't affect the flavor. Seriously flavorful and spicy!
  • The other wraps I made this week involved tuna, courtesy of Food Network. I don't usually like tuna without mayo (or something creamy at least), but this was actually very good. A little boring, but I would make it again if I was in the mood for something easy and healthy that didn't involve any actual cooking.
  • I went a little different with my veggies this week. First I tried this roasted and pureed cauliflower, courtesy of Food Network. I have to admit that I used 1% milk because I didn't have whole. I didn't miss it. The dish turned out surprisingly creamy and delicious. Who knew cauliflower could carry so much with just a pinch of fat added?
  • My favorite dish of the week was this broccoli, white bean, and cheddar soup, courtesy of Food Network. Another recipe that surprised me. I'm loving me them white beans lately! They add so much and cost me so little (in terms of fatty fatty fat fat, I mean). This soup was so freaking delicious. And I used the 2% milk cheese, so it was even healthier. Woohoo! I couldn't believe it. Seriously. It's fantastic. And deceptively filling. And with some buttered toast made from the whole wheat bread I made to dip in it? Mmmmmm....
  • And, of course, my muffins. So good.
I found some recipes I'll definitely be making again. Maybe I'll even share with Husband this time. I'm glad I ended up going a pretty healthy route this week. I didn't need feelings of fattiness guilt dampening my already damp week. Instead, I'm feeling good. I found out while messing around in my closet last night that not only am I able to fit into my senior prom dress again. I am also able to fit into a dress I wore to my Uncle's wedding, which I'm pretty sure was my junior year. Why do I still own these dresses? I have no idea. I didn't even know I did until I found them while rummaging through my closet. But it sure is a confidence booster!

I guess since my income is in jeopardy, we'll be having to start pinching our pennies. Unfortunately, one of the few places we're going to be able to do that is the food bill. I'll have to rethink my uberly-overpriced Greek-style yogurt. I'll have to give up my support of organic dairy farmers in favor of the man and his cheaper offerings. I already try to stick with seasonal foods, but I'll have to learn to be more flexible with my recipes to include fruits and vegetables that are on sale. And baking is probably out. I'll still try and steer clear of prepared foods. While Easy Mac is both economical and sinfully delicious, I won't be fitting into ten year old prom dresses with that on my diet. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Self Pity Muffins

I got laid off from my job yesterday. It sucks. I'm bummed. When I get depressed, I like to eat. Thankfully I had these muffins ready made! I don't know if they're the best muffin I'll ever eat, they definitely are not the only muffin I will ever make, but they are pretty darn delish! I love the combo of peanut butter and banana (and chocolate to boot!). They are light and moist (sorry, I know that word is yucky, but I can't think of a good synonym), and not too sweet. They're also super filling. The recipe makes 12, but I think I'd rather make 16 or even 18 smaller muffins, just to help with portion size. Half of one is really all I need, but my piggy self, I scarf down the whole thing and then regret it. Hehe.

I found this handy dandy recipe calculator, where you can input all the ingredients in a recipe and it'll tell you the nutritional content per serving. I love it! It's been invaluable in figuring out exactly how good or bad for me something is. These muffins, for example, not that great calorie-wise, but there's some definite nutrition! Here's what each muffin comes out to:

Calories: 393.2
Fat: 16.9g
Saturated Fat: 4.8g
Cholesterol: 18.7mg
Sodium: 362.7mg
Carbohydrates: 56.0g
Fiber: 3.1g
Sugars: 20.0g
Protein: 8.8g

Add some more fruit on the side and there's a sweet treat for breakfast! Heh.

PS: I am looking for work anywhere doing anything that pays the equivalent of where I am now, cost of living of course taken into account. And by anything, I mean only reputable positions of course. ;p

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Zucchini

Wow, I'm playing catch up from almost 3 weeks ago! Yeesh! I was unexpectedly sent to St. Louis last week, so I didn't get a chance to either blog or cook really. But I'm back! And I want to tell all about the food I made the week before that because I made a lot of food. And it was all so good. I did a Mexican-but-not-really theme with lots of Mexican flavors like salsa, peppers, and cheese, but with more veggies and less starches because that's just how I roll. Here's what I ate a million weeks ago:
  • Chicken Picadillo, courtesy of Cooking Light. I might have to start subscribing to this magazine if all their recipes are this magically delicious while still being healthy. Really, just looking at the ingredients, it sounded kind of boring. Chicken with some salsa and a spice or two, big deal. But it was so moist and flavorful and delicious. And I don't even really like chicken! I bought a rotisserie chicken from Costco and used some of that shredded up in this dish. So I just cooked the onion and garlic, added the chicken, spices, and salsa, and just let it come together for a few minutes, and then poof! All done! I left out the almonds because, well, I completely forgot about them. And I left out the raisins because ew! This is a keeper. Easy, fast, and delicious.
  • Tex-Mex summer squash casserole, courtesy of Food Network. Yum. This was another one that sounded kind of hum-ho but ended up really fantastic. It's super healthy because it's mostly just zucchini, but the jalapenos and green chiles add so much flavor. And the cheesy top gives it a bit of creaminess that brings it together. I also added a can of black beans, which I thought it was a good addition. Yum yum yum. Husband and I were both loving this one. It made a huge casserole dish worth of food, but since it was mostly veggies, we went through it alarmingly fast.
  • Summer squash griddle cakes, courtesy of Broke Ass Gourmet. Yep, more zucchini. I couldn't get enough! I've seen recipes for zucchini pancake-type things all over. Don't know why I landed on this recipe in particular. I think it was just in the right place at the right time. I love the idea of this dish, and it tasted great, but it just wasn't quite there. The batter wouldn't hold together at all, so I ended up with fried zucchini bits. Don't get me wrong, I was loving the bits. But I would have liked that pancake, and I would have prefered less fuss. I would definitely make these again, but I would try out a different recipe. What possessed me to go with something other than the Pioneer Woman's recipe, I don't know. I'll right it the next time I have a hankering for zucchini!
  • Spinach rice casserole, courtesy of Cheap Healthy Good. So simple, so good. This one didn't blow me out of the water, but I definitely enjoyed cutting it up into small squares and having one or two as a side dish for dinner each night. I would make it again for sure. The rice gave it a good amount of substance, which it would have been lacking if it had been just spinach, cheese, and eggs. It felt very balanced.
Can you believe all that food barely even lasted the week? Husband and I were scrounging on the last day. I think we ended up actually making our emergency frozen pizza! Speaking of which, holy moly those CPK frozen pizzas are yummy!

You know what I realized the day I made all that food? That my Cuisinart does more than just chop. It shreds. Who knew? I shredded 4lbs of zucchini in minutes. Seriously! I was watching Food Network a few weeks ago and I saw someone use some kind of crazy contraption on their food processor that shredded something or other and I thought to myself "hey, does mine have one of those?" Really, when I got my Cuisinart I kept the big blade in the base and stowed all the rest of the attachments away, never again to see the light of day. I was so surprised to see there was one of the handy shredder attachments that had come with mine as well! Husband saw me using it and asked "Have we seriously had this the whole time??" Yes, dear. I'm an idiot. Thanks. But at least now we know. From now on I am julo, master of shredded vegetables!